Alphabet to test delivery drones inside the US2016-08-03 02:59 by Daniela
Tags: Alphabet, drone
The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has granted Alphabet's X division permission to test Project Wing drone delivery services below 400 feet at six sanctioned test sites. Data that is gathered in these tests will be shared with government partners to help regulators answer important safety and human factors questions about autonomous delivery operations. Alphabet plans to launch the service commercially in 2017.
The tests are part of an initiative to push research and safety measures for unmanned flight. The U.S. National Science Foundation will spend $35 million over the next five years on unmanned flight research.
Development of a next generation air traffic control system is critical to enabling the kind of large scale drone fleets over crowded urban areas that Amazon and Alphabet want to build.
"Unmanned aircraft are transforming entire industries," said Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta during the White House workshop. "[They're] providing filmmakers a fresh angle for looking at the world, and giving first responders a new and important tool that they haven't had in the past for things like search and rescue operations."
Though the FAA released its final rules for drone operations in June, deliveries still aren't allowed.
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